damned_intercom: (Default)
The Intercom ([personal profile] damned_intercom) wrote in [community profile] damned_institute2012-11-24 01:27 am

Day 67: Dinner

"Goodness, is it really already time for dinner? Time certainly does fly! And such a lovely day, too. I certainly wouldn't mind having a nice cup of cocoa out on the patio or something..."

That was how the Head Doctor greeted them, although it apparently didn't take him long to realize he'd gotten a little off topic.

"Now then, it's time for the nurses to escort you all back to your rooms, where you'll have the opportunity to tuck into a scrumptious plate of turkey and gravy. And, of course, we always carry vegetarian options for those who don't eat meat. We also have our usual assortment of water, juice and milk.

"Also, some of you will be receiving some extra help in warding off whatever bug some of us have been catching. Please take care, everyone, and be sure to wash your hands! I'll talk to you all again later. Enjoy your dinner."

The intercom clicked off, leaving patients with the prospect of preparing for yet another grueling Nightshift.

((Respond to this post with your character's room number in the subject line. New room assignments are listed here. If you have any questions, let us know!))
scarefaux: ([unsure])


[personal profile] scarefaux 2012-11-30 11:13 am (UTC)(link)
As harrowing as his own night had been, the events of what had happened and what horrible transformation might await him come nightfall weighing heavily on his mind, the Scarecrow couldn't help but worry for his roommate who had been taken for experimentation. His nurse insisted he calm down as he headed for his room, his pace as fevered as his body- Mr. MacAuley wasn't going anywhere, she assured.

The Scarecrow ignored her for a moment, pushing the door open, his entire frame trembling from the illness that still wore on him. The other bed was empty, and while he didn't want to jump to an awful conclusion, that's just what the Scarecrow did.

"Where's Skulduggery?" he asked, voice rough from his sore throat.

"I already told you, Mr. Howard," the nurse answered, handing him his dinner tray. "He'll be along shortly. Now you eat some of this and get some rest. You'll need your strength, and remember that tomorrow is another day."

With an encouraging smile, she left him there, closing the door behind him. He wasn't too worried about tomorrow- it was tonight that had him concerned.
Edited 2012-11-30 11:13 (UTC)
skeletonenigma: (closeup)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2013-01-03 09:14 pm (UTC)(link)
The nurse seemed to understand right away that Skulduggery wasn't particularly in the mood for talking, which was honestly refreshing. He'd spent most of the day after breakfast in silence; there wasn't any reason to change that now. Especially when he still wasn't sure if he had complete control over his own mental faculties.

The assurance that nothing would happen during the day did astonishingly little to help.

It wasn't until they approached the room door that Skulduggery remembered the last time he'd seen the Scarecrow. He'd been planning to stay and make sure the Scarecrow didn't slowly transform into a horrible monster, but that plan had pretty clearly fallen through. So what happened last night, in his absence? Would he step inside to find a new roommate?

No. Nothing happened, apparently. Or at least, nothing of the transforming-into-a-horrible-monster variety. It was a very small relief, in the face of everything, but it was something. You had to take the small mercies where you could find them.

The Scarecrow was still sick, though. The rash hadn't gone away. Tonight, barring any other surprises, was going to be interesting - and probably wasn't going to do anything to improve the way things had been going. With a silent apology to Rita, who would probably be kept waiting again tonight, Skulduggery nodded to his roommate from the doorway. "You're not feeling any better, I take it?"
scarefaux: ([argumentative])

[personal profile] scarefaux 2013-01-05 10:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Scarecrow turned as the door opened, nearly knocking his tray from his desk. "Oh, Skulduggery! I'm so glad to see you. T- that you're still here."

His wound nerves were apparent in his voice and body, his hands shaking; he looked at them with fear in his eyes, thinking for a moment that he might be changing already. Grasping one with the other did him no good, as it was shaking too. The trepidation in his eyes was replaced by concern as he brought them back to his roommate, knowing his night couldn't have been any easier.

Scarecrow scratched at his arm, the rash under the bandages worse than ever. "I tried to go up there to rescue you. Really I did."
skeletonenigma: (darkfirewind)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2013-01-08 07:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery blinked. "You did?"

He should have expected it, really. The Scarecrow didn't know him well, and they'd only been roommates for a couple of days, but Skulduggery knew the Scarecrow. Or at least, knew him about as well as watching a cultural classic film two or three times could manage. The character didn't believe he had any brains, which Skulduggery had found particularly amusing given that he didn't have any either. But the Scarecrow certainly didn't lack for intelligence. Or courage. Or reckless, stupid bravery.

This was another example of that; shaking, nervous, and terrified for his life, likely feeling nauseous and feverish, but the Scarecrow's primary concern was still for a man he hardly knew.

Skulduggery didn't deserve that. Not after what happened last night. He felt another flare of anger at the memory, which he fought down with practiced ease while he shook his head. "I'll survive. What happened to you?"
scarefaux: ([well])

[personal profile] scarefaux 2013-01-09 03:23 am (UTC)(link)
Though he looked Skulduggery over, worry still etched into the creases of his face, the Scarecrow couldn't determine what they had done to him up there. Whether they had cut him open, implanted something into his brain, or done something equally sinister was impossible to tell; however, while the Scarecrow knew it couldn't be good, at least he seemed like himself, not brainwashed or believing the Institute and Wizard Landel's tricks. It might have been stubbornness or mutual concern keeping him from revealing what had happened, but perhaps he would be okay after all.

Well, he would be if he wasn't attacked by a horrible monster that night. That thought alone was enough have the Scarecrow wringing his hands again- he'd have tied his fingers into knots if his human hands had been capable of such a thing.

"Well," he started, voice low, "I found a friend in the hall and we headed up to the rooms where the sleep studies take place, like I said. I know we don't know each other very well, but you're my roommate and I couldn't just leave you up there. Certainly not knowing some of the things they do here. And we- well, we would've made it up there, but..."

His eyes sank, landing on his hand as it scratched idly at the rash. Pulling his fingers from beneath the bandages revealed red under his nails. He assumed he'd hurt himself by scratching too much, but supposed there wasn't much to be done about it. He had much more to be worried about than another wound on his already battered arm, and there seemed to be so little he could do for any of it.

"Oh, I should've listened to them," Scarecrow continued, frustration over his helplessness bleeding into his tone. "I was warned that people were being turned into monsters by Wizard Landel, but I was sure I'd be okay! And then last night, we were going upstairs, and—"

He cut himself off, shaking his head. Though his mind painted a clear enough image of what happened, it was too awful for him to describe, the mere thought making his insides crawl.
skeletonenigma: (skeletondetective)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2013-01-09 03:34 pm (UTC)(link)
... and he'd started to turn.

Skulduggery was silent as he sat carefully down at his own desk, but he didn't take his eyes off the Scarecrow. Or, more specifically, everything the Scarecrow was doing - the scratching, the wringing, picking nervously at the bandages. There was a certain tension in the movements, but nothing close to outright pain. Not yet.

He didn't say so, but he was glad the Scarecrow and the friend he mentioned didn't make it up to the third floor last night. There was no telling what would have happened if they ran into Skulduggery right after the 'sleep study' was over. More likely than not, they'd both be dead.

And it didn't matter now, because the Scarecrow would probably die tonight anyway.

Nothing changed in Skulduggery's face or his eyes, but his voice when he next spoke was noticeably softer. "I'm not going to leave until you're no longer a threat to anyone. I can promise you that. I'll try to contain you, but I can't promise that's going to work." If all of the patient-monsters were going to be as bad as the one that could control hair in the Sun Room, Skulduggery definitely wasn't going to be able to control whatever the Scarecrow turned into. "And if it doesn't, I will do whatever it takes to stop you."

Whether the Scarecrow took that as a comfort or not, Skulduggery wasn't sure. His primary concern was protecting the rest of the people here. If it helped the Scarecrow to know he definitely wouldn't hurt anyone else, all the better.
scarefaux: ([observant])

[personal profile] scarefaux 2013-01-10 10:59 am (UTC)(link)
The Scarecrow nodded, though he didn't fully understand. A part of him knew that restraining him once he changed would be no simple task: he had watched himself turn into a Kalidah during the previous night, trapped in his own skin as he shifted shape and attacked his friend. He'd met Kalidahs in Oz, and they were not some simple beasts to be trifled with, their reputation for being dangerous a well-earned one. Scar, while he'd not been in the best of health, was hardly a man who couldn't defend himself- it was something else the man had in common with his former roommate, their stubborn demeanors and red eyes completing the similarities.

And yet, the Scarecrow had hurt him, and that knowledge wounded him more than any fire ever had.

His eyes rose from their spot on the floor to meet Skulduggery's, something in the finality of what he said striking him. Whatever it takes could imply a lot, especially to someone with what was a very vague concept of death at best. Curiosity overrode his fear, and he found enough of his voice to ask.

"What will you do? What can you do?"
skeletonenigma: (snap)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2013-01-12 02:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery hesitated, partly because he didn't quite know the answer himself, and partly because he was trying to remember the character of the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. Trying to determine how much that character might be able to handle. In the end, Skulduggery decided it didn't really matter; the character was standing right in front of him, and the character standing right in front of him knew that he would probably turn into a monster tonight, and he wasn't breaking down. That alone deserved as much as of the truth as Skulduggery had.

"That depends," he finally answered. "You're not the only one who might change tonight." It would be easier if the sleep-study effect, as the doctor implied last night, was permanent. And Skulduggery had to admit that as dangerous as it all would be, he did rather hope the doctor was right. For tonight, at least, it would be useful.

"But," he continued, "if I do, I'll still for all intents and purposes be me." Theoretically. Assuming the years of learning tightened control over his anger hadn't been a complete waste. "After that, I'll improvise. Distract you from the door. There isn't a way of locking it from the inside, so I might have to block it, probably with a desk. I might have to hit you with the other desk. I'll try to knock you out, so you wake up in the morning with nothing more than a bad headache."

That was the optimistic view, but Skulduggery made it a point to hope for the best. Hope for the best, and prepare for the worst. In the spirit of that preparation, he maintained eye contact with the Scarecrow as he got back to his feet. "But, if it turns out that the only way to stop you from hurting someone is to kill you, I'll do that too." He nodded slowly and turned away, stepping over to his wardrobe. "If it's any consolation, I hope it doesn't come to that. It shouldn't."

But it probably would. Landel hadn't disappointed so far. Yes, Skulduggery had hope, but to be perfectly honest, it wasn't much.
scarefaux: ([serious])

[personal profile] scarefaux 2013-01-15 11:26 pm (UTC)(link)
The Scarecrow's brow furrowed; so they had done something to him. A transformation? While he couldn't imagine what kind of awful transformation Skulduggery would suffer, at least his roommate seemed confident in his ability to remain himself despite the change. The Scarecrow couldn't say the same for himself, but his own dilemma was caused by an infection, not the experimentation performed on him. Perhaps it was like the clever little thing: useful when purposefully activated.

His eyes averted themselves as Skulduggery turned away, worry making it impossible to keep his attention on one thing. He headed for his own wardrobe, pulling out his box of possessions, gathering them as though he thought he might go somewhere. For all he knew, he was.

No one but the wicked could die in Oz; it hadn't occurred to him he could do the same as any mortal man in Landel's until Abe had told him so, and he'd chastised himself for not realizing it sooner. Of course he could die- he had a human body, after all. Even so, he had hardly any idea what happened after death, as such a concept had never been something he had to think about when he did have his brains. He'd always supposed one simply ceased to be- it was a very dismal prospect, but the one that made the most sense.

Pushing his hat aside, he found movie of The Wizard of Oz, he and his friends prominently displayed on the cover. If worse came to worst, he was never going to see his friends again- not just Depth Charge or those he'd promised to help once they'd been bewitched by Wizard Landel, but Oz and its citizens. What would they do without him to lead them as the wisest in Oz?

That was if worse came to worst, and he knew he ought not think like that. It got him nowhere to think himself a hole in the ground, especially when he hadn't a reliable brain to think with in the first place. He had to put his faith in Skulduggery because he couldn't put much in himself at that moment- while he hadn't known his roommate long, the Scarecrow could tell he wasn't a bad person, and brainless or not, he considered himself an excellent judge of character.

He set the movie aside, fumbling through the box for his portal rings: one from Depth Charge, one possibly from Sergeant Carter, given he'd had one, and one from someone unknown. He liked to think perhaps it was a memento of another friend, one of the many missing. Where would they go when he was gone? Would he leave any mementos behind?

Tucking one into his hat, he placed it back in the box before slipping one of them on his finger, keeping the third in his palm, examining the gem with little focus- his mind was completely elsewhere. "I suppose it can't be helped," he said quietly, a hint of stubborn determination still lingering in his tone. "I'll trust you'll know what to do. After all, I can't really trust myself when it happens, now can I?"

He pulled his eyes from the ring, turning them back to his roommate. "I don't know much about what it's like to die. I didn't think I'd ever find out either, since I wasn't alive until I got here. There has to be a first time for everything, though." And if death was as permanent as he'd assumed, it'd be a first and only time.
skeletonenigma: (skeletondetective)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2013-04-15 12:22 pm (UTC)(link)
An open declaration of trust from someone who barely knew Skulduggery at all was as refreshing as it was surprising. Maybe it shouldn't have been; this was the Scarecrow, after all. From what Skulduggery remembered of his character, he did tend to be blindly trusting. Still, it was a nice change of pace not to have to argue.

Even though he probably should have argued those last words. He couldn't quite call himself living proof anymore, could he?

Skulduggery was about to respond - with what, he wasn't sure, but it would have been something, and probably something poignant - when he opened up his own wardrobe to discover, quite prominently in alongside the pyjama pants, a suit. A suit he recognised well, because it was one of his. One crisp white dress shirt on one hanger, and a blue suit jacket and pants folded neatly on another. There was a hat in with the suit, a tie in with the shirt, and a pair of dress shoes on the floor of the wardrobe next to the slippers.

For a moment, all Skulduggery did was look at them. Well-tailored, excellent quality, the spitting image of his own suit back home; but he could tell, even from here, that it wasn't the one Ghastly made. The one Ghastly made was bulletproof. This one, obviously, wasn't.

But it was still a suit. Skulduggery didn't take his eyes off it, even as he quickly replayed the Scarecrow's words in his head. "So the popular theory goes, yes. Where I come from, death tends to be an exception." For him, anyway. There was still a first time, albeit much later than it should have come, and there would presumably be a second time as well. He just had no idea when. "It's not fun. It's usually painful. And no one knows anything about afterwards, so I'm afraid I can't give you much detail. But the pain usually has an end, so there's that. It's what happens when death isn't permanent that's worrying, and in a place like this - "

He cut himself off. He was doing that thing again, as Valkyrie so often pointed out. That thing where he wasn't being sympathetic enough. Skulduggery took a deep breath in, just because he could, and swallowed once, just because he needed the practice. "I'm sure everything will be fine. Your death will either be permanent, or it won't happen. I'll make sure of it."
scarefaux: ([company])

[personal profile] scarefaux 2013-04-16 03:53 am (UTC)(link)
Without a word, the Scarecrow returned his gaze to the ring in his palm, thinking. Despite his initial assumption regarding the subject, there was some hope in his mind attached to the thought that death might not be permanent, a small glimmer his usual optimism simply wouldn't let fade away. On the other hand, it might not be such a good idea, after all: if death wasn't the end all be all as Abe had implied in his explanation of the matter so long ago, did that mean someone like the Wicked Witch of the West could come back to life, as well? And if that was the case, was the Emerald City safe in his absence? Oh dear. That was troubling.

Perhaps it was something unique to the Institute, he thought. It was a curious place in and of itself, given how the Wizard Landel seemingly had complete control over everything and everyone in it, at times. Brainwashed patients, roaming witches, the ability to put non-human constructs like himself into a human form- it wouldn't have surprised the Scarecrow to find that their captor had magic strong enough to bring back the dead, as well. That presented an even more unsettling thought: that Landel might have the Wicked Witch of the West working for him in a similar fashion to the Mangled Witch or the Burning Man. Oh, the Scarecrow didn't expect she'd be happy at all if she remembered what happened to her.

And then, there was an even worse notion that came to the surface of the Scarecrow's mind: that if death wasn't permanent in Landel's by some magic or other anomaly, that he'd return to life as well. This wouldn't have been an awful prospect if it didn't come with the thought that he'd be a monster again, and that there'd be no end to the trouble he might cause his friends because of it.

He shook that thought from his mind, trying to keep himself on track for a change rather than letting his mind wander as it often did. He didn't have the luxury of spending hours entertaining any topic that came to him, using his newfound brains to ponder over each and every question he had. Even if he did have the time in Landel's, which he certainly didn't, he hadn't the brains to think properly anymore- the ones he'd been granted by the Wizard in the form of a diploma, which he so trusted to be the best there ever were, were no longer in his possession with his human body. He had brains enough with it, but they'd been tampered with in his sleep study, and had proven themselves nowhere near as capable as those he'd been granted back home. It was unfortunate, as he knew he could have thought of something— a solution, a plan, a way home— had he only had them.

When he doubted himself, the Scarecrow had only one place to turn: his friends. He decided to put his faith in his roommate for now, given Skulduggery seemed to know a lot about the topics of death, and of doing what needed to be done when it needed to be done. He had to admit that it was a welcome change from his previous roommate- Depth Charge never failed to beat around the bush when it came to telling the Scarecrow what was going to happen, always wanting to spare him the finer details in the hopes of keeping him out of trouble.

And yet, he was the one who was gone, and the Scarecrow, naive and ignorant and painfully aware he was both of those things to a frustrating degree, was the one left to try to deal with Landel, the one who would be setting out to do what he could to save his missing friends. It wasn't the best of circumstances, but he'd never been one to give up- not until that moment, where he realized that a permanent death might be the only way to keep himself from hurting, and therefore hindering, anyone else, especially the friends he had still remaining at the Institute.

"I suppose that's best," he noted finally, closing his fingers around the ring in his hand, looking over its twin he wore on his own. "I've only ever seen one person die, and I do hope she never comes back. Or hasn't already, if that's possible."

He cast another look toward his roommate before making his way into Skulduggery's side of the room. Opening his hand, the Scarecrow offered the ring to him, the blood-red gem a far darker shade than the rash that covered his palm. "Just in case something does happen to me tonight, and you get into trouble after all, you'd better take this. I don't know if you've seen one of these, but if you break the stone on it, it'll get you out of here. Hopefully, it'll take you somewhere safe."
skeletonenigma: (thinking)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2013-04-16 09:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Skulduggery nodded absentmindedly. The Wicked Witch of the West, wasn't it? He wondered briefly if he'd like living in a world where only the criminals could die. He certainly wouldn't mind it, given that he'd probably be dead himself.

But there was no more use standing around. It couldn't be much longer until the intercom crackled back to life, and Skulduggery wanted to be prepared by the time that happened. So he stepped forward and took both of the hangers down out of his wardrobe, carefully folding the two parts of the suit over his arm so they wouldn't crease. Ghastly's custom-tailored suits never creased, but Skulduggery wouldn't put it past Landel to take away more than just the bulletproof ability. The detective shook his head sadly. Of all the unforgivable crimes...

He glanced up when the Scarecrow walked over, and held out what looked like an ordinary ring. Probably a fairly expensive ring, judging by the gem, which looked to be some type of blood ruby. Or possibly a form of garnet, like a pyrope. Skulduggery was by no means an expert, but the ring itself looked ordinary enough. He suspected that assumption was wrong even before the Scarecrow explained what it was.

Skulduggery's face didn't change, as it never did, but his confusion was apparent in his voice. "Get me out of here?" If it was an escape route, surely someone would have used it by now. "I haven't seen one before, no. Does this come from Oz?"

It sounded like the red shoes Dorothy wore throughout most of the movie. It was also really hard to actually break a ruby or a garnet, so unless Skulduggery was missing something here, the ring - while a nice gesture - was ultimately useless for anything more than sentimental value.
scarefaux: ([puzzling])

[personal profile] scarefaux 2013-04-19 08:03 am (UTC)(link)
"I'm not sure where they came from," he answered honestly, "but Dep— well, my last roommate and I— we used one to make a quick getaway one night. It felt like the floor came out from under us, and then we were outside, far away from the Institute."

His eyes trailed down to the ring in his hand, his brow furrowing as he tried not to think too hard on the fact that Depth Charge was gone, that he hadn't been able to find him and help him, that he might not get the chance to do so if he changed again. "After you break it, you can fix it again, and it'll return you to wherever you did. At least that's what I've heard. I did that last night by cutting my finger and rubbing it on the stone, thinking that if I found you, I could bring us back here. Didn't do me much good, now did it?"

He smiled, mostly out of reflex rather than out of actual emotion; it was a safeguard for him, a mask that hid how scared he was about what might happen once the night began.

"I don't know how it works, or if it'll be of any use to you, but please take it."
skeletonenigma: (welltailoredsuit)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2013-04-21 01:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, certainly not useless, then.

It sounded a lot like what the Teleporters from Skulduggery's dimension did, as if the rings were harnessing their ability in a way anyone could use. Another dimension's technology? It didn't belong to the Scarecrow's last roommate, unless the Scarecrow's last roommate saw fit to carry three of the things. Another attempt by the Head Doctor to be apparently helpful, then? Either way, if they carried any risk with being used, Skulduggery imagined someone would have warned the rest of the population by now.

Or perhaps not. Prisoners tended to be a selfish bunch, after all.

"Does that mean breaking the stone now would bring me back here?" Skulduggery asked, still wary of reaching out to take the ring. "How do you break it?"

The Scarecrow's words, tone, and expression weren't lost on him. He just didn't see fit to mention any of it right then - at least not without rehashing what they'd already established.
scarefaux: ([serious])

[personal profile] scarefaux 2013-04-28 07:55 am (UTC)(link)
"I'd think it would," the Scarecrow answered honestly, not knowing he'd accidentally given Skulduggery his ring that led to the mines north of the Institute rather than the one linked to the hallway. As much as he liked to think he could tell them apart, all three rings in his possession did look alike, save for the broken stones.

"All I did was set it against the wall, take my roommate's arm, and hit it with my flashlight." He mimed the motion- nothing too precise given his wobbly state, but close enough. "Like that." Despite how sturdy the gems looked when whole, it didn't take much to shatter them- or at least the Scarecrow didn't think it took much. He wasn't one to judge something on appearances anymore, having met both lovely witches and a lion who was anything but the pinnacle of bravery in spite of his monstrous roar.

He was glad the rings worked at all, honestly. It had been handy with Depth Charge to make a quick escape from whatever his roommate had been seeing that night, whatever it was that the Scarecrow hadn't been able to see. He'd said it was his shadow suddenly come to life- Scarecrow was never going to know for sure, now.

He sighed again sadly, his brave smile fading more with every one that passed his lips, ebbing away with his breath. This was for the good of everyone else, he reminded himself. He was doing no good turning into a monster and hurting his friends, especially when he wasn't sure there was a way to stop the transformation. All he knew about what was coming he'd learned at Landel's, having never thought on such things in Oz unless a lighted match was around. Abe and Skulduggery had given him all his knowledge on the subject of death: that it would hurt, that he couldn't be sure of what would happen afterwards, and that he wasn't coming back.

He felt as though bugs were crawling on his insides, every one burrowing into him as they worked their way toward his throat; he swallowed them down and wandered back to his side of the room, worry written across his face as he took a seat on the bed to rest his increasingly unsteady legs. Night was coming very soon, and he couldn't help but be afraid of the unknown.

And still, he was curious as to what it was like after death. Was there something to be found there? Or was it the end as it would be if he was burned away to nothing, as he'd imagined?

The Scarecrow laced his fingers together, wringing them as much as he could, a habit he'd had back when they were nothing more than ill-fitting gloves. "I know it hasn't been all that long since we got roomed together, and I know these circumstances haven't been the best for getting to know someone, but I want to thank you for helping me with whatever happens tonight. My old roommate— well, it was sometimes hard to convince him of anything. He could be so stubborn, and I know he just wanted me to stay out of harm's way, but—"

The smile that crossed his face was genuine that time, bittersweet. "You know, I'm not sure I can find the words for it, now that I try to think about it. So I suppose I should just stick with a simple thanks, shouldn't I?"
Edited 2013-04-28 07:56 (UTC)
skeletonenigma: (adjustingthehat)

[personal profile] skeletonenigma 2013-04-30 12:22 am (UTC)(link)
They couldn't be real gems set into the rings, if all the force it took to shatter them could be delivered by a flashlight. Wondering what the blood-red stone actually was, though, would accomplish nothing, so Skulduggery simply accepted it for what it was and took the ring from the Scarecrow with a short nod. Breaking it would return him here; he assumed he could only do that once a night, unless he 'fixed' it by pricking his finger. And pricking his finger, as a living skeleton, would be a problem. Otherwise, Skulduggery assumed the ring would fix itself every morning, like everything else in the Institute seemed to do.

He put the ring down on his bed, laid out the suit next to it, and put the hangers back in the wardrobe. He could very well be fighting the Scarecrow within the next few minutes, but there was no reason not to look good while he was. The 'helpful' things Landel provided, Skulduggery had found, were usually genuinely helpful. Or at least not traps. This prison was far too secure for anyone to escape, so there was no reason not to psychologically torture people with helpful items.

He changed quickly while the Scarecrow deliberated, and only turned around again when he was pulling on the jacket. "You don't even have to stick with that," he answered. "You don't know me. I'll quite possibly be killing you very soon. The less you know about me, the better."

Skulduggery meant that, too. But after a few more seconds - seconds in which he realised that he'd be fighting his roommate while on the verge of becoming Lord Vile - he reconsidered his words. "But you're welcome."

He'd be making enough excuses for himself very soon. He didn't need to add to them now. So with that, Skulduggery straightened his tie, picked up the hat, and flipped it deftly onto his head - just in time to hear the intercom crackle to life.